Box of Chocolates Chocolate Birthday Cake

Here it is folks, as promised, I’ve finally shifted my lazy ass and put the pics of my cake onto the laptop. I’m really really happy with how it turned out, it got the seal of approval from all our guests and got plenty of compliments. Just be aware, you need self control, the chocolates sitting on top are far too easily removed and eaten before you realise what’s happened (that’s not just me right?)

You will need:

3, 8inch Springform Cake Tins

Tin foil (just in case)

Greaseproof paper

Spatula

Food Mixer

Kebab sticks/Cocktail sticks

Sift

Large bowl

Ingredients – Chocolate Cake (2 layers)

3 Cups Plain Flour

2 Cups Castor Sugar

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)

3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (sifted)

1 Tbsp Camp/Coffee

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Oil (I used Sunflower but Vegetable would be fine)

1 1/3 Cup Milk

1 Tbsp Cider Vinegar

Ingredients – Vanilla Cake

1 1/2 Cup Plain Flour

1 Cup Castor Sugar

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)

1 Cup (250ml) Milk

1 Tbsp Cider Vinegar

1/2 Cup (4oz/100g) softened Butter

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Ingredients – Frosting

About 2 Cups (20 oz/500g) softened Butter (I used 2 Stork packets)

1/2 Cup sifted Cocoa Powder

3 Cups Icing Sugar

1/4 Cup Milk

1 Tbsp Camp/Coffee

Now with the frosting, it’s all about taste, if you want more cocoa powder in then just adapt to how you’d like it.

  • Preheat oven to gas mark 5/190c
  • Prepare your 3 cake tins. Line the base with greaseproof paper.

Chocolate Cake

  • Into a large bowl, sift your flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.

Flour Mix

  • Into a large jug, pour your milk and cider vinegar and leave to sit for 5 mins.
  • Stir the milk mix as it will look curdled by now, it’s supposed to resemble buttermilk. Of course I guess you could buy buttermilk if you so wished.
  • Add in the oil, Camp/coffee and vanilla extract and mix very well again.
  • Pour your flour mix into the food mixer, begin to slowly beat and gradually pour in the milk mix.

I always use the beater attachment

  • When you have a well mixed batter, medium consistency (I messed up at first and the mix was very thick, but just keep adding milk until you have a pudding like consistency)
  • Evenly distribute the batter between 2 cake tins and pop in the oven for 30 mins.

All ready for the oven

  • After 30 mins turn the oven up to gas mark 6/200c for another 30 minutes. My oven was a little slow on this day and took a while to bake, if yours does the same don’t panic, cover with tin foil for 20 minutes or so, depending on how underbaked your cake is)
  • Wash up and get ready to start on the middle layer, the vanilla cake layer.

Vanilla Cake

  • Preheat your oven to gas mark 5/190c
  • In your food mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Sift together your flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) in a separate bowl.
  • In a jug, pour your milk, add the cider vinegar, leave for 5 minutes then stir.
  • Add your vanilla extract to the butter mix. Beat briefly until the vanilla is well mixed in.
  • Alternately, beginning with the flour mix, pour in your flour and milk mixes to the butter, eg, 1/3 of your flour mix, 1/2 of your milk, 1/3 flour mix, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour mix.
  • Be careful not to overbeat.
  • Pour the whole mix into one cake tin and place in the oven for 25/30 minutes.

Chocolate Frosting

  • Place your butter in the food mixer and beat until creamy.
  • Add your Camp/coffee.
  • Add half of your cocoa powder and beat.
  • Add your icing sugar gradually, if the mix gets thick, add your milk.
  • Add the rest of your cocoa powder until you have a fudgey frosting. It may look a lot but remember, you have a 3 layer cake to cover and fill.

Once your cakes have cooled, begin to assemble them onto a cake board. I misplaced my icing turntable, utter nightmare, the cake gets very heavy! Frost inbetween each layer, carefully assembling. Any excess, just spread it down the sides.

Assembled cake

Now, very very carefully, taking a sharp knife, cut out a ring on top of the cake. Luckily, on this occasion, I had a hump on top of my cake so cut that out.

The chocolates will sit in this hole

The cake scraps could freeze ready for cake pops, or you could just nibble at them all afternoon long so that by teatime you can’t face food (this happened!!)

I had a couple of cracks, as you can see just at the front, but you can cover this with your frosting if you’re careful with how you handle the cake. Once you have covered the whole cake, I would advise using some fondant to line the inside where the chocolate will sit. Spreading frosting inside that dip is no easy task, crumbs will come away and stick to your spoon/spatula but don’t fret. Fondant was my saviour on this day and covered up the mess in the middle, nobody had a clue….until now!

Finished product

 

Picture 2!

 

I hope I’ve explained everything clearly in this post, if not please just ask if you have any questions!! This cake feeds soooo many people but lasts about a week if you keep it in an airtight container.

 

Ciao for now

Xoxo

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Box of chocolates birthday cake

Today was the day I finally decided what cake to make for Christmas eve! It’s mums fiancés birthday (hope I’ve used the correct spelling there haha he’s a man, just so ya know) and I thought it would be nice to do him a cake again, last year I did one which tasted great but….didn’t look the best, it was my first ever attempt at a cake. SO given that he’s an absolute chocolate addict, I thought I’d do a cake like a box of chocs 🙂

20111220-152411.jpg

This is the cake that inspired me. I’m writing this from my iPod so the pic may need spinning around haha but you get the idea! I shall keep y’all posted.

Xoxo

Chocolate Brownie and Hot Fudge Sauce (egg free)

Now I can’t quite remember where I got the original recipe from for this as it was about 10 months ago now, but in any event, I’ve tweaked it a little bit to make it that bit richer!!

You will need:

9×13 inch baking pan (or whatever you have to hand but remember the baking time may differ)

Greaseproof paper to line your baking pan

Dish

Wooden spoon

Ingredients

2 Cups Plain Flour

2 Cups Caster Sugar

3/4 Cup Cocoa

1 tsp Baking powder

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Tbsp Coffee (I actually use Camp)

1 Cup Soya Milk (or your regular milk will work)

6oz Melted Butter

1/4 Cup Oil (I use whatever’s to hand, usually Vegetable, obviously not Olive!)

100g Melted Dark Chocolate

Preheat your oven to 175c/gas mark 4

  • Melt the Chocolate and let it cool whilst you’re getting on with the rest!
  • Stir together the dry ingredients. I like to use a hand whisk so that I know everything has combined well and there are no lumps.
  • Mix in the wet ingredients then gently pour in the melted chocolate.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is no longer shiny.

The great thing about this brownie and it being egg free is that, even if you pull it out of the oven early because you like an ultra moist brownie, you’re not going to poison yourself because there’s no egg!! I like mine quite moist so just keep checking really until you feel that the brownie is how you like it!

NOW, this is the ultimate hot fudge sauce recipe, you will, I can assure you, LOVE ME FOREVER for this recipe!! I made this once and it went a bit wrong, I didn’t get everything melted in properly and it went a bit lumpy so I poured it into our blender and hey presto, disaster averted, it was perfect!! So fear not if you’ve a lot of lumps, it can be a sensitive mix to make, but it can be saved with a trust blender.

Ingredients

1 1/2 Cup Caster Sugar

1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar

3/4 Cup Cocoa Powder

1/4 Cup Plain Flour

1/2 tsp Salt

1 Can of Evaporated Milk (14oz/397g can)

2 Tbsps Melted Butter

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

  • Place the sugars, cocoa powder, flour, salt and evaporated milk into the pan and stir well until everything is combined (I use my hand held – NOT ELECTRIC – whisk sometimes to do this)
  • Turn on the hob to med/high and as the mix starts to warm up add the butter.
  • Stir continuously.
  • When the mix hits boiling point and starts to bubble, let it continue to do so for a good 5/6 minutes.
  • Be careful not to burn the mix because you will just be left with a bitter chocolate tasting sauce.
  • After 5/6 minutes of boiling, remove from the hob and add the vanilla.

I like to then pour my sauce into my trusty Wilton bottle because this way, whenever it needs warming up I can just pop it easily into the microwave!

Warmed up brownie, hot fudge sauce and cream

This is seriously one of my fave recipes! If you like your brownies cold, I can highly recommend spreading a thick layer of chocolate buttercream, homemade or shop bought, it’s your prerogative, and munching away. Bliss.

Right, I’ve made myself extremely hungry now, noodles and king prawns for tea!!

Xoxo

I feel like I’m living in Oz!

Oz as in the Wizard of, not Australia! The wind has been a nightmare here today and as for the rain, don’t even get me started. Not only did I get a soaking, TWICE, my poor little ballet pumps filled with water (ok not the smartest choice of footwear but I can’t feel the car pedals in my UGGS) and my hair now resembles something like my cat used to drag in!! Ugh.

On a lighter note, today I had to prepare an order from a girl I went to school with for some gluten free Jack Skellington Cupcakes. No pressure there then! I love making cupcakes for family and friends, I really do, but when it’s someone you haven’t seen for 10 years (thanks Facebook) the pressure is kind of immense! And I did have a slight nightmare with what were supposed to be Jacks head. I planned on white chocolate truffles with his little face painted on but…..well lets just say I didn’t anticipate the mix looking like custard and not setting even when put in the freezer for nearly 2 hours! So I had to resort to a plan B, with only half an hour to spare I wacked some Wiltons White Chocolate into one of their Halloween molds and improvised, A LOT! Here’s the finished product….

Jack Skellington they are not, but I do still love them!

AND bonus, I had 8 left so you just know what I’m having for dessert tonight!! Unfortunately, Americolor black food colouring has stained my poor little cuticles (word to the wise, use with caution haha) so I kinda look like a cross between something from The Nightmare Before Christmas and Helena Bonhem Carters character from Sweeny Todd with my hair now!

I’ll post the recipe for these gluten free bad boys tomorrow (I daren’t go back out to my car tonight for my recipe book fear of doing a Mary Poppins and flying off to another land!) but until then, ciao for now folks! xoxo

Hello bloggersphere!

Well, here goes my first blog!

I realised today whilst browsing on www.pinterest.com (it’s becoming an addictive habit!) that this time of year is possibly the best time of year for heart warming food (something about the spices that we seem to dust off in Autumn/Fall just gives me a warm glow inside!) I came across an amazing recipe for Cinnamon Buns (as soon as I make them I’ll post it on here), a recipe for pumpkin scones, and some marvellous crock pot recipes.  If you’re a crafty person as well as a foodie then I cannot recommend this site enough, I’ve got so many interesting ideas for handmade Christmas presents its untrue!

Anyway, I digress, what I’m really trying to say is I’m going to be taking some inspiration from this site and baking/cooking so many different Autumn/Fall goodies that I decided to share my obsession with the blogging world! It’s becoming a bit of a standard joke now with my boyfriend that whenever we go out I’m always taking pictures of my food to show my family what cool things I’ve tried, so it makes sense to share my thoughts and recommendations with you all. One example is my dessert below, an edible chocolate bowl, I mean seriously, how amazing!! This was from a restaurant in Halifax where I’ll be going again for Sunday Lunch with a girl friend this weekend so I’ll post a link and other pics Sunday!

You can't go far wrong with brownies, ice cream and a white chocolate edible bowl!

They were so accommodating because I have problems with too much egg in products, they gave me raspberries and orange to make up for my lack of brownie bites!

Anyway folks, I’m off to get my Gleek on and ponder what recipes to make first from my collection on Pinterest!

Ciao xoxo